How To Turn A Building Into A Big Water Filter

By installing the Rainhouse system, which includes a roof made of "bioconcrete," every rainfall can produce drinking water for the building's inhabitants. Its designers say that the technology can fit any size of building, from a factory to a home.

What's the Latest Development?

Recently presented at Milan Design Week was a demonstration of Rainhouse, a filtering system by Hungary-based Ivanka that, when attached or built into the roof of a building, turns every rainfall into pure drinking water for the people inside. The filtering starts with the roof, which is made of a special material, "bioconcrete." Further on in the process the water lands in a bioconcrete cistern, which Ivanka's Katalin Ivanka says "acts like a natural limestone cave formation, and...further softens the otherwise naturally soft rainwater." Best of all, no chemicals are used in the purification process.

What's the Big Idea?

While collecting rainwater for a building's use isn't new, most of the time it's reserved for plants or toilets. Besides making more fresh water available to more people, the Rainhouse technology could help manage stormwater in cities that tend to flood during heavy rainfall. It can also be made to fit any size of building, large or small. The company plans to license the technology everywhere and make some of it open-source. 

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